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Until Next Time My Friend: Tony Caruzca

“Death is the beginning of a new life, not the end. You may leave this world but not our heart, you will live there for ever.” –Debasish Mridha

I know “Tony” Antonio Dinopol Caruzca in the early days of my law practice. He was introduced by a common friend for a case. Since then we treated each other as brothers. After the day’s work I would call him to grab a bottle of beer and when our discussion gets heated, we would sing songs in a bar owned by my brother located at Mango Avenue. We then wind up sipping our favorite pochero or linarang at Osmena Blvd as I send him off to Minglanilla where he was residing at the time.

Those days, our age would allow us to drink endlessly. Later we turned our drinking streaks to running and biking to strengthen our physique and health.

When he joined politics, Tony ran for Barangay Chief of Pahina San Nicolas. The exercise nearly drained his resources and energy but serving his constituents wiped out his worries somehow. I have seen his passion for service. For the peace and security, he installed CCTV camera to monitor the activities of his sitios, purchase patrol cars for his tanods, and trained them in gun handling and safety. He likewise installed sound systems throughout the sitios so that he can announce important information. He also lit his barangay with LED bulbs to thwart criminal elements. For health programs, Tony established the Health Center for the barangay and equip them to the fullest so that it can serve his constituents health needs. He also purchased garbage trucks for the garbage collection efficiency and appointed garbage collectors so that he can lessen the garbage of his barangay. He also fence the river fronting the Guadalupe river so that people will no longer be tempted throwing their waste directly to the body water.

He renovated his Barangay Hall and the day care center to better serve his barangay mates. He concreted roads in the barangay and unclogged its drainage system. Dredging operations in Guadalupe commenced in his term barangay chief as the water would overflow during heavy downpour.

He also encouraged the establishment of the inter barangay security council composed of neighboring barangays to strengthen coordinated services and security concerns in the barangays under the San Nicolas Police Station.

He served his constituents with passion in his heart. His exemplary service encouraged some of the well-meaning members of the barangay to join public service among them is the present Brgy Captain Arnold Cabongga, John Batucan, and Vicente Laquidao.

He finished his three terms with flying colors and endorsed Arnold Cabungga as his successor while he run as barangay councilor.

Tony has been a good provider for his children and his family always comes first to his heart. Indeed death is not the end of life but a beginning of a new chapter. You may no longer physically with us but will you will always remembered in our hearts and would stay in our memories.

Tony until we meet in the next life. Adios amigo.